The fantasy genre has recently been embraced by television networks and streaming services across the board. Game of Thrones proved that there was a far larger audience for well-done fantasy programming based on already popular written material. With the influx of shows this season like The Witcher and His Dark Materials, the fantasy genre game remains strong. But though fantasy has been making a lot of waves recently, it’s not the only game in town. Many creators in other genres are using their book pool to create incredible works for the small screen.
Sci-fi has long been a well-tapped genre for television, and here are just a few examples of its best-adapted works for the medium.
No everything science fiction is spaceships and aliens. 11/22/63 was a miniseries on Hulu based on a Stephen King novel of the same name. It ran for eight episodes back in 2016 and was well-reviewed.
The story follows James Franco’s Jake Epping, who is given the chance to travel back in time with the idea that he can prevent the assassination of JFK, thus also preventing a number of other modern problems as well. Obviously things do not go quite as planned, but that’s part of what made the book fun to read and the show enjoyable to watch.
9 Jessica Jones
Jessica Jones was one of a number of well-received Marvel television shows that ran on Netflix. The program was based on the Marvel character and comics, created by Brian Michael Bendis.
The show starred Krysten Ritter as Jones herself. She was harassed by the villain Kilgrave, played by David Tennant, in the first season. The show was embraced in part for its darkness, but also for the fact that its superhero was not of the tights wearing variety. There was no cape and no hope of uniting the world in peace. That makes for a very relatable superhero.
8 The 100
The 100 is a CW show based on four dystopian YA novels by Kass Morgan. The first season of the show premiered in 2014, one year after the release of the first book. The book, and the program, follow a group of teenagers dropped back to earth to explore its post-apocalyptic terrain and see if it’s ready to be inhabited once again.
However, the earth is not as deserted as they were led to believe. While there are only four books the show has been successful enough to garner seven seasons, the final of which will premiere in the next year.
7 Under the Dome
Under the Dome is another Stephen King novel that made its way to television. Unlike 11/22/63, Under the Dome premiered on network television (CBS) in 2013. The program, like the novel, followed the residents of Chester’s Mill after a large clear and indestructible dome encases their town.
What is it? Why is it there? And how do they get out of it? The first season became the most-watched summer premiere of a drama in almost twenty years for CBS. While the first season continues to entice and was very well-reviewed, the second two seasons were not as well-liked.
6 Agents of Shield
Agents of Shield was the one television show set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that did not premiere on Netflix, instead, it was released on ABC. The show was loosely based on the Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. titles from Marvel, largely expanding and providing more details about the organization as a whole.
The show drew interesting parallels to the MCU movies as they were released, and has garnered positive reviews throughout its run. The program will conclude in 2020 with its final seventh season.
5 The Man in the High Castle
The Man in the High Castle was one of the lesser-known novels of Science Fiction superstar Philip K. Dick, known to most movie viewers as the author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? on which the Blade Runner films are based.
The show and the book depict an alternate history it the Axis instead of the Allies had won World War II and then the United States had been divided between the victorious powers of Germany and Japan. The book and the television program diverge considerably in later seasons. The show ran for four seasons on Amazon Prime.
4 Altered Carbon
Altered Carbon is a Netflix show based on the 2002 novel by Richard K. Morgan of the same name. The series follows Takeshi Kovacs, who used to be a soldier and is now an investigator, as he tries to solve a murder.
The real trick? The world of Altered Carbon is a place where people can transfer their consciousness into different bodies. With one well-reviewed season behind them, Netflix is preparing to release the show’s second season at the end of this month.
3 The Expanse
Like The Man in the High Castle, The Expanse is now available on Amazon Prime. The first three seasons of the show premiered on Syfy before Amazon bought the rights and produced a fourth season.
The series is based on a series of novels written by James S.A. Corey. The program follows a number of characters as humanity has successfully colonized the Solar System. A fragile peace exists between people and planets but that doesn’t look like it will last long. The show has been very well-reviewed and won a Hugo Award for the Best Dramatic Presentation. The show has recently been renewed for a fifth season.
2 The Flash
DC, just like Marvel, has pushed many of its characters onto the small screen, and done so successfully. Perhaps the most successful of all DC’s small screen heroes has been its interpretation of The Flash.
Based on the comic book series of the same name, the show follows Barry Allen as the super speedster as he tries to fight crime in Central City. Barry is a key member of DC’s Arrowverse on television, and one of the better-known heroes off the small screen.
In 1973 the original film Westworld premiered, in 1974 Michael Crichton released a novel, written in script format, of the same name. Both were huge influences on the current hit HBO series.
The fantasy performing androids were always there, though the humanity of the characters changes from page to screen.
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